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Favre fined $50,000 for lack of cooperation in Sterger case

Brett Favre could be available to start his final NFL game Sunday -- assuming his concussion clears -- because the league has decided not to sit him down. But Favre was fined $50,000 Wednesday by commissioner Roger Goodell for his lack of cooperation amid an investigation that Favre sent inappropriate messages and photos to former New York Jets game day hostess Jenn Sterger in 2008 when Favre was the team's quarterback.

CAPTIONBy Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

In providing its ruling, the NFL released a statement that read in part:

On the basis of the evidence currently available to him, Commissioner Goodell could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct. The forensic analysis could not establish that Favre sent the objectionable photographs to Sterger. The review found no evidence to contradict the statements of both Favre and Sterger that they never met in person, nor was there anything to suggest that Sterger engaged in any inappropriate conduct.

However, Commissioner Goodell also determined that Favre was not candid in several respects during the investigation, resulting in a longer review and additional negative public attention for Favre, Sterger, and the NFL. The commissioner notified Favre that he has been fined $50,000 for his failure to cooperate with the investigation in a forthcoming manner. Commissioner Goodell stated to Favre that if he had found a violation of the league's workplace conduct policies, he would have imposed a substantially higher level of discipline.

Goodell also reiterated the league's expectation of a welcoming and harassment-free workplace among its clubs and employees.

"Every member of every club's staff should be able to work in an environment free of harassment or hostility, and one in which every employee is valued, respected, and given a full opportunity to contribute to the goals of the club and the NFL," Goodell said.

"Our new training program on workplace conduct will help all of us to promote the right kind of environment for all employees and I intend to dedicate the fine I have imposed on Favre to help fund that training program."

The issue also gained prominence this summer when TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz felt uncomfortable while waiting to interview current QB Mark Sanchez in the Jets locker room. Team owner Woody Johnson later spearheaded a program detailing the environment the league expected each team to maintain.

CAPTIONBy Bill Kostroun, AP


The website Deadspin was the first to allege Favre's interactions with Sterger.

Injuries have kept Favre, 41, from playing two of the past three games for the Minnesota Vikings (including Tuesday night's victory over the Philadelphia Eagles) and snapped his record streak of 297 consecutive regular-season starts earlier this month.

Favre, infamous for his career waffling between seasons, has repeatedly stated that this year (his 20th in the NFL) will be his last. The Vikings conclude their disappointing season at Detroit on Sunday, and Minnesota interim coach Leslie Frazier has indicated he plans to start Favre for the 299th time in his career provided he's medically cleared.